FRESNO, California (KSEE) – A Fresno mobile home park where one person died and another was injured in a two-trailer fire Thursday night was supposed to be shut down in January.
State documents show that the permit for the Trails End Mobile Home Park, in the area of Sierra and Blackstone avenues in north Fresno, was revoked due to unsanitary and substandard conditions.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development confirmed that the park owner was given notice to shut down on Jan. 21 because of safety concerns and code violations – and revoked the site’s permit. However, the site remained operational and residents continue to live there in sub-standard conditions.
HCD received and investigated complaints of unsanitary and substandard conditions within the park. Since then HCD has issued Notices of Violations, however the park owner has not been responsive. Under these circumstances, HCD will likely work with Fresno County to abate the nuisances in the park.California Department of Housing and Community Development
“Everyone that I have ever talked to says they have never seen people build without permits and have housing so compacted with belongings that are potential fire hazards,” said one neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous. “Is it the city of Fresno? The state of California? the manager of this trailer park? An innocent person died.”
The neighbor, who has lived near the park for 30 years, says he has contacted officials at the city, county, and state levels and nothing has been done to clean it up. They added that he has often seen illegal activity in the park as well.
“Some responsibility needs to be had and it needs to be tracked down because this has been overlooked for years,” said the neighbor.
Fresno Fire Department continues to investigate the cause of the blaze. Officials confirmed that there were three fires at the park over the last 18 months, including the one on Thursday night where two mobile homes caught fire. One person died and another was taken to the hospital.
In a statement, Fresno-area State Assemblyman Jim Patterson says the situation is very concerning.
My office has opened an investigation. We need to know why citations were issued and the operating permit was suspended. Clearly, this was a dangerous situation that required quick action but none was taken until it turned into a tragedy.California State Assemblyman Jim Patterson
In a statement, Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau said he has only recently learned about the situation.
We heard about the tragedy yesterday but the information about past problems at this location only late today. We will get to the bottom of this soon.Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau
In a statement, Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld described the situation as troubling.
The fact that the State suspended the owner’s operating permit and yet the mobile home park remained open is extremely troubling and has resulted in a fire and someone tragically dying. This is completely unacceptable. It also raises many questions and we will seek answers as to how this happened.Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld